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A Room Away From the Wolves

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  796 ratings  ·  266 reviews
Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

ebook, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers
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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  796 ratings  ·  266 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars. I tried so very hard to love this book, but I really struggled with it.

Nova Ren Suma's writing and stories are always somewhere between gorgeous and completely what-the-actual-fuck bonkers. Despite its weirdness, I really enjoyed The Walls Around Us, but I confess that was the first of her books I was able to finish. This one, I feel, was so hard to get through because I spent the majority of the story clueless as to what was going on.

It's really hard to become invested in a story a
As soon as I finished this, I flipped it back to the beginning to reread. This is a story about girls, about ghosts, and about our connections to the material things of the world (including the relationships we hold onto, even when we know we shouldn't). But, like all of Suma's books, when you come to the end and realize what she's done, you're mesmerized and curious as to just..HOW.

The writing is lush and perfect, and even though New York City doesn't instill a lot of romantic feelings for me,
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A Room Away From the Wolves is an atmospheric, unique story set in an old boarding house in New York City. It follows a bisexual Jewish girl who is trying to leave behind an abusive home situation.
This is an odd, quiet, slow-paced gem of a book, unlike everything I had ever read before, and surprisingly difficult to review. I almost feel like I should reread this to do it justice, to absorb it better, but for now I'll write how I feel about it at the moment.

If you're always looking for
Before Sabina was born, her mother spent a summer at Catherine House, a boarding house for young women in NYC. So when Sabina’s mom tells her to leave the home they share with Sabina’s stepfather and stepsisters, there’s only one place she can imagine going. When she gets there, she finds that it’s a truly unusual sanctuary, filled with mysterious girls with mysterious circumstances. Most intriguing to Sabina is Monet, who lives in the room just below hers. But Monet never answers any of Sabina
Jessica Woodbury
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ya
When I read Nova Ren Suma's first novel I had trouble settling in because her style is so unique, both real and surreal. It is hard to get your bearings in one of her books, but now I get that this is the joy of it. Her books are like impressionist paintings, looking like one thing up close and another from far away. This time I let myself relax and enjoy myself, which worked much better. She and I will never be a perfect fit, but it has nothing to do with the quality of her work, which is fanta ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I just. I'm so confused. Can someone please explain what actually happened to me? Because omg, I don't get the ending. (view spoiler) Do I even remember this book at all? No, because it left no impression on me. And that made me so sad considering how excited for this book I was. But I don't think I even liked this, because I spent most of the time wondering what the point of it was. Maybe I'm not smart enough for this type of story. Whate ...more
The Nerd Daily
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

There’s something so beautiful about the way A Room Away From The Wolves is written. It’s a haunting, riveting, and oh so delightfully mysterious story to get lost in. Believe me, you will get lost in this story. The tension that builds as this story begins to unfold won’t let you put the book down until you’re tearing through the last page.

This story is chaotic and yet not at the same time. You get to experience the story throu
Vicky Who Reads
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
4 stars

I really enjoyed this! It's such a solid read, and there's so much mystery and fictional history behind it, it's very cool.

I'm not exactly sure how to describe the atmosphere of this book (but it has a really distinct atmosphere), so I'd say something like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children crossed with The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube. It's sort of spooky, sort of mysterious, and all sorts of odd in between. There's all these mysterious things happening in the home fo
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of her’s but damn, her writing so good. Some of those sentences she puts together...reminiscent of Laini Taylor. Very lyrical and the imagery is unparalleled. The story was...well, it was weird, which is to be expected from her but it wasn’t dark. I think The Walls Around Us hit with enough punch and eeriness to keep me hooked. This one didn’t have the oomph I wasn’t looking for. But did I mention her writing?
Melissa Sarno
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Haunting and beautifully written.
4.5 stars.

this is one of the most beautiful stories i've ever read, and it came into my life at just the right time. it's a ghost story set in modern-day new york city, about a girl from the hudson valley who wants nothing more than to forget the life she left behind. it's witchy and vaguely sapphic, with a meandering and somewhat bizarre plot that centers around identity, independence, and recovering from trauma.

this book is about:
- struggling to escape a dysfunctional/abusive family
- getting o
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 4.5 really.

A haunting (and haunted) tale that blurs the line between earthly and supernatural - even more than The Walls Around Us did. I understand why it seems to confuse some readers, but I also think almost everything can be explained away with the magical (if creepy) place at the center of the story creating its own reality bubble...except for one "small" detail that doesn't fit the scheme. Either way, another exquisitely written, breath-stealing, heart-wrenching, bittersweet, all-gir
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
This is such an odd book and it’s hard to review without giving away the secrets. Bina’s mom makes her leave her home. She says it’s just for a month with friends, but Bina has another idea. She remembers stories her mom told her about a boarding house in New York. Her mom lived there while auditioning to be an actress. Her stories of freedom and having her own room appealed to Bina. After leaving her father, Bina’s mom met a man right away and moved in with him. He also had two daughters and Bi ...more
3 1/2 stars

This genre-bending, paranormal, realistic yet very trippy mystery is completely out of the box as per usual for Nova Ren Suma. It has rich, emotional writing and made me want to visit New York City again soon.

However, the mystery itself lost me somewhere along the way. It felt like the key details were strewn haphazardly across the story, leaving me to pick them up at random. I wanted the reveal to be tighter and more strategic – I wanted the tension to build in a purposeful way and
I had heard such good things, but this just wasn't for me. It left me with too many questions, and I felt like either the supernatural elements needed to be played up and explained more, or the nonmagical elements needed to be. I felt like we got to know her mother, or at least, the version of her mother that Bina knew, more than Bina (the main character) herself.
Jan 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released-2018
*cries* because finally a new Nova book *cries some more*
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
So gorgeous and haunting. Nova Ren Suma is a treasure.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!! I would highly recommend this book! It had a lot of suspense and great description!
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
**Originally posted on The Fandom**

Bina has always hoped that her life would be something bigger, something more. But when she and her mother finally leave her abusive father, her dreams of an unpredictable but free life are squashed when her mother settles down with the next man she meets, prioritizing a stepfather who largely ignores Bina’s existence and two cruel stepsisters over Bina herself, all in the name of security.

Years have gone by since then, but Bina still hasn’t adjusted. The la
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fiction
A thoroughly gorgeous modern gothic that combines so many of the things I love in a book: runaways, an all-girl boarding house (evocative of a boarding school setting), New York City, complicated and fraught mother-daughter relationships, an unsettling atmosphere of steadily growing unease, lush and lovely prose, and oh yes GHOSTS. Sometimes it feels like Nova Ren Suma is writing specifically for me, she hits all the right marks.
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
I need to think on this one for a while. My rating may change. I just chose 3 because it's in the middle and I'm feeling VERY in the middle and weird about this one. Also, if you know what the heck this was about-- please let me in on it!!
Bang Bang Books
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
So I loved The Walls All Around us and I was expecting a strange story but this book just didn't get going.

It started off so good. I love Suma's metaphorical writing and the way she allows the reader to fill in the gaps.

I loved the weird relationship between Bina and her mother. I liked most of the supporting characters.

My issue with this book was the pacing. I needed Suma to start telling me what the hell was going on but she just piled and piled on the mystery. I started to stop caring becaus

Beautiful language and creative thought, but the plot dragged. It took me a very long time to get through this, and it isn't a very long book. Unfortunately, the novel consisted of lots of deep inner thought, and was just too magical for me. There were moments where it wasn't entirely clear what was real and what wasn't, and usually that doesn't bother me, but here it frustrated me. There wasn't enough specific plot to carry this book over 300 pages, and by the end I just found myself wishing
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
DNF @ pg 132

Nova Ren Suma has a lovely, densely metaphorical writing style, but her execution in terms of the story and plotting always leaves something to be desired. Her stories thrive on a lot of confusion, and it just doesn't work for me as a reader. Recommended for those who have loved Suma's other works.

Reviewed in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of Horn Book.
This book is smarter than I am and I am 200% ok with that.
Katherine Moore
Full blog tour review post can be found here:

This wonderful story has one step inside reality, and the other is deep inside somewhere quite otherworldly, which is also somewhere that Nova Ren Suma’s writing sits. Her writing is what gives this simple tale of a young girl ‘Bina’, who runs away from home to a boarding house in New York City, so much character, originality, and mystery.

Bina and her mother fled their home once before, last time to escape her
*Source* Library
*Genre* Young Adult / Ghost Stories
*Rating* 3.5


Author Nova Ren Suma's A Room Away From the Wolves is a spellbinding ghost story set in a refuge for trouble girls deep in the heart of New York City. The story is told in the first person narrative by Sabina (Bina) Tremper a girl who has had a difficult life. She remembers her mother teaching her how to hitchhike. She also taught her how to cover up abuse she receives from her step-sisters, or shall I call them, step monst
Rachelle Ballinger
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book #15 of the EBN Challenge at my Library.
Challenge Topic: A Book from the 2018 NPR Book Concierge list.

Interesting. You have to pay attention to the details that happen at all moments.
It felt a little like it didn't finish the story though.
Jan 30, 2019 added it
I’m not sure what I should give for this book yet.
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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia Univers ...more